Endpoint Security , Hardware / Chip-level Security

Former Deputy Election Commissioner Addresses EVM Security

Dr. Alok Shukla on How Chips in EVMs Are Secured
Former Deputy Election Commissioner Addresses EVM Security
Dr. Alok Shukla, former deputy election commissioner of India

In light of concerns raised about the security of electronic voting machines in India, Dr. Alok Shukla, former deputy election commissioner, says it's nearly impossible for a hacker to tamper with the chips in an EVM in an attempt to alter the vote tally.

"EVM chips are using PKI [public key infrastructure] technology, and therefore the EVM manufacturers anywhere can always verify whether the chip that is inside the EVM has the digital signature which was issued by the company or not," Shukla says in an interview with Information Security Media Group.

"An EVM has two units - the ballot unit and the control unit. So when the ballot unit and control unit are connected together, the first thing they do is to shake hands," he says. "If the chip inside the BU or the CU has been changed ... it will simply not work."

In the interview (see audio link below image), Shukla also discusses:

  • The latest technology used in EVMs to make them "tamper proof";
  • Why EVMs are not at risk of being accessed remotely;
  • Why he believes EVMs are the best option for ensuring the security of elections;

Shukla served as deputy election commission of India for more than five years; he helped in conducting two national elections and several state elections. He joined the Indian Administrative Services in 2010 and managed several innovative schemes and projects of the government. He is also author of the book "Electronic Voting Machines - The True Story."




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